Note-taking is an extremely valuable skill in the classroom, whether you are in junior high school, high school or college. If your instructor covers course material rapidly, using a wide range of abbreviations during note-taking can help you simultaneously take notes and listen to your instructor more quickly and efficiently. In addition, because note-taking abbreviations keep you from having to spell out words in full, using abbreviations spares your fingertips from unnecessary work.


When doing note-taking in math class, common abbreviations include "no." and "nos." for the words "number" and "numbers" respectfully. In addition, you can write "ht" for height and "wt" for weight. Use the actual numbers of "1," "2" and "3" instead of the words spelled out while note-taking as well. Also, consider using symbols instead of words, such as "+" instead of a plus sign, ">" for "greater than" and "%" for percent.

Letters with Periods

Many other abbreviations used during note-taking commonly feature periods. For instance, you can write "i.e.," which means "that is," as well as "etc.," which stands for "so forth." You can abbreviate the word "especially" by writing "esp." and the words "minimum" and "maximum" by writing "min." and "max." In addition, the phrase "for example" is represented by "e.g." Also, "c." stands for "circa" or "around" -- as in "around the year 1900," according to the Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education.

Letters without Periods

A wide range of other common note-taking abbreviations do not necessarily include periods. "Yr" stands for "year," and "w/" stands for "with." Likewise, you should write "w/o" for "without" and "w/i" for "within." The phrase "b/c" easily replaces the word "because," and "b/4" can be used for "before." In addition, "re:" stands for regarding.

When taking notes using abbreviations, write "versus" by using the abbreviation "vs" and "wd" for "word." Also, to shorten the words "reference" and "difference," use "ref" and "diff" respectively, according to Note that an abbreviation generally should still be understood even if you add a period to one that commonly does not have one, or vice versa.

Capital Abbreviations

Some abbreviations typically are capitalized during note-taking. For example, you abbreviate the United Kingdom by writing "U.K." and abbreviate Great Britain by writing "G.B." The abbreviation for "English" is "Eng.," and the abbreviation for "British" is "Brit." In addition, "Q" stands for "question" and "A" represents "answer." You write the phrase "as soon as possible" by writing "ASAP" as well.